Mum raises more than £400,000 for charity after leukaemia takes her son

This post first appeared on Nottingham Post. Read the original article.

A Nottinghamshire mum who lost her son to leukaemia has raised more than £400,000 for charity in his memory.

Susan Skillington, 64, and her husband Tony, 67, of Ravenshead, set up the James Skillington Challenge Group after their 22-year-old son James died of leukaemia in 2002.

In those 15 years, the cash they have raised has gone to the charity Bloodwise to fund research in to finding better treatments and cures for all blood cancers, directly helping patients at Nottingham hospitals.

Susan said: “Our on-going contribution to the Bloodwise research programme is only possible because of the tremendous and enthusiastic support which is displayed year after year by our dedicated team and supporters.

“We strive to make a difference with our fund raising activities, but always making sure they are fun-filled at the same time.”

Their activities include golf days, a hog roast and annual Christmas fairs and over the past two years the group has raised £21,000.

Back in 2003 Susan even walked from John 'O' Groats to Lands End to raise money and awareness for charity.

Susan Skillington presenting this year's cheque

Susan Skillington presenting this year's cheque

The group handed over the cheque to the charity on November 16 at a ceremony attended by a doctor whose work at Nottingham University Hospitals with clinical drug trials is funded by the charity.

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Dr Christopher Fox, a consultant haematologist from NUH, said: “This is another fantastic fundraising achievement by Susan and her group.

“This is a significant contribution to clinical research for patients with blood cancer and will have a positive impact for patients in Nottinghamshire.

“Continued funding of clinical trials for patients with blood cancers is critical so that we can continue to witness life-changing progress through improved treatments.”

According to the charity, around 39,000 people of all ages, from children to adults, are diagnosed with blood cancers and related disorders every year in the UK.

These cancers include leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma and they are the fifth most common form of cancer and the third largest cause of cancer death in the UK.

Emma Jane Jones, regional manager at Bloodwise, said: “We are constantly inspired by the stories of those fundraising for us and the dedication of our supporters like Susan, Tony and everyone in the group.

“They organise such amazing events such as a golf day, their hog roast and the annual Christmas fair, all helping to fund vital research into more effective and less harsh treatments for blood cancer, so we can save the lives of even more patients.”